The Grants-to-Counties Program
- Arsenic Fact Sheet
- Chloramine and Water Treatment
- Coliform Bacteria and Nitrate Fact Sheet
- Drinking Water Analysis
- Flood Health and Safety
- Homebuyer's Guide to Private Well Water
- If your water tests positive for coliforms
- Iowa by the Numbers
- Iowa Well Survey Results
- Pool/Spa Testing
- Request Additional Water Quality Testing
- Well Water Quality and Home Treatment Systems
- IDNR: Iowa's Private Water Well Program
- IDNR: County Sanitarians
- IDNR: Well Flood Information
- IDNR: Private Well Booklet
- CDC: Private Ground Water Wells
- CDC: Well Testing
- CDC: Arsenic and Drinking Water from Wells
- CDC: Nitrate and Drinking Water from Wells
- EPA: Bottle Water Basics
- EPA: Drinking Water from Household Wells
The Grants-to-Counties program’s goal is to provide free water testing to Iowa residents whose primary source of drinking water comes from private wells.
How Can I Get My Well Water Tested?
If you live in a county that participates in the Grants-to-Counties program, you may have your well water tested for total coliform bacteria and nitrate at no cost. First, contact the environmental health specialist (county sanitarian) at your county health department to find out if they participate in the Grants-to-Counties program. If they participate, work through them to get your private well water tested.
If your county doesn’t participate in the Grants-to-Counties program, you can contact the State Hygienic Laboratory or another laboratory directly to get your water tested for a fee.
I’ve Got My Test Results, Now What?
If there is a problem with your well water and the county sanitarian thinks additional testing is needed, the county sanitarian will either contact the State Hygienic Laboratory to perform a more complex test for contaminants like pesticides, or provide additional guidance for improving the quality of your well water.
How Much Do These Services Cost?
- If your county participates in the Grants-to-Counties program, it has funds to cover the cost for the initial tests of total coliform bacteria and nitrate.
- The State Hygienic Laboratory’s Grants-to-Counties program covers further testing for other contaminants (such as pesticides) in wells that have tested with nitrate levels greater than 10 mg/L (as N) but are bacterially safe.
- The State Hygienic Laboratory also has funds to test your well water if it poses a direct health threat because of extenuating circumstances such as a chemical spill near the well or an accidental back-siphoning incident. Other circumstances could also include:
- a sudden change in taste, color or smell of the water;
- chemical storage leaking near the well as from an above or below ground fuel tank;
- a well inundated by flood waters; or
- the illness of a family member whose drinking water source is a private well and who has been referred by a physician to the health department.
For Further Information:
Contact Michael Schueller or Alyssa Mattson at 319-467-4503 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org